Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Alexander Remnev sits on a ledge atop an office tower downtown. He and his friends use no mountain-climbing gear, no harnesses or ropes when skywalking. They wear everyday clothes to make the point that they “are just ordinary guys like you and me and not some boring professionals.”

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexander Remnev

The view down from one of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexander Remnev

Alexei Nazarov enjoys a sunset view from the top of one of the Seven Sisters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Artyom Lakhtionov

Vitaly Raskalov climbs the monument to Peter the Great over the Moscow River.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexander Remnev

On top of the Monarch business complex tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexander Remnev

A skywalker climbs the star that crowns the spire of a skyscraper in Kudrinskaya Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexei Nazarov

A skywalker, a.k.a. "roofer," stands on top of a house.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexei Nazarov

The view from the highest point of the bridge that links the far-eastern port of Vladivostok with the island of Russky. Alexei Nazarov, 20, a computer student, hitchhiked thousands of miles last summer, a journey that took him a month and a half, to climb the new bridge. “I climbed that bridge and sat on top of it as if I had fulfilled the goal of my life,” Nazarov said. “But then I came down and boarded a plane and came back to Moscow and understood that I just climbed another bridge, and started thinking about new exploits.”

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexei Nazarov

Taking in a new city.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Artyom Lakhtionov

Artyom Lakhtionov soaks in the experience on top of a pedestrian overpass above the Dnieper River.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexei Nazarov

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By Sergei L. Loiko

MOSCOW — They have discovered a world where no rules or laws apply, where they can be heroes, if only for a few terrifying minutes.

They are skywalkers, or roofers, as they proudly call themselves. The craze, which is believed to have started a few years back with a couple of young Russians, now has hundreds of followers here and thousands of others around the globe.

It works this way: The roofers climb a skyscraper, a construction crane, a tall monument, a tower or a bridge. When they get to the top, they balance themselves — sometimes on the tiniest of ledges — and take a lurch-in-the-stomach picture of the view hundreds of feet below. Then they post it on the Internet.

For these young men (and most are men), skywalking offers an escape from the constellation of problems that plague modern-day Russia, such as finding a job or choosing sides in the war between the Kremlin and the opposition.

1 Comment

  1. January 28, 2013, 8:16 pm

    Skywalking can be adictively obssessive, until that foot slip and slide mercifully liberates and sends you catwheeling in a plunge to a messy splat on some rocks or pavement.

    By: Gus Douw

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